The Hidden and Rising Costs of Truck Accidents

Slipping on loose gravel or wet cement can kill on a bike

Lose control of your bike? Your not alone.

Trucks are a needed part of our modern society. Large trucks, including semis, eighteen wheelers, and others bring the most important resources for the economy to function to the most remote part of the country. This is especially the case with the thousands of miles of roads supporting thirty million Californians. Truck traffic is a constant reality, especially on the many freeways of the state.

As Passenger Car Wrecks Go Down, Big Rig Truck Accidents Go Up?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show a bleak trend. While many of the statistics show fatalities going down across the board, there is a different trend going on involving trucks. As a matter of fact, fatalities including trucks actually increased from 2009 to 2013. Between these years the rate of fatality increased 17 percent. In fact, there were almost four thousand deaths in 2013, including almost six hundred people in the truck cabs.

Actions That Can Help Reduce Bad Wrecks

There are many actions that could be taken in order to reduce the number of fatalities on the road. Even with improvements in safety equipment, these are sometimes ignored by the large trucking companies because these regulations are crushing and make it impossible to turn a profit. In addition, there have been cases of drivers not having CDLs or other necessary training, which is increasing as a whole generation of truckers leave the industry being replaced by greenhorns.

  • Fatalities for Truckers at a Six Year High

These dangers affect both commuters on the road and the truck drivers themselves. Truckinginfo reported recently that fatalities among truckers has reached a six year high. There has also been a push within the industry to increase the number of hours allowed for drivers to undertake– up to as high as 82.

Some leftists who have never owned or operated a business argue that inaction by the federal government to mandate higher safety standards also costs lives. Those who believe in personal responsibility and free markets believe that regulations and compliance costs actually lead to cooking the books, hiring illegal aliens to drive, using the trailer brakes stop the vehicle, tire carving and other things that increase the likelihood of accidents.

Historic Over-regulation Shows More and Not Less Prime Mover Accidents

When the number of truck fatalities should be decreasing, this vital period of historic and massive regulation has seen an increase. This should be completely unacceptable to every person on the road, especially those being asked to drive these big rigs. At the end of the day, we already have negligence laws in place forcing all human beings to act reasonable. Common sense dictates that We the People abide by our social contract and that we deport illegals and others who do not.

In the meantime, consumers must be aware of their surroundings and avoid areas that big trucks frequent. For more information or to speak to an expert in trucking accident, call Ehline Law today. Our attorneys have been second to none in determining the cause of these accidents and attempting to prevent them.

Your Choice is a Personal Injury Attorney has a Cascading Effect

Good, Bad or Ugly?

Nice or not? Big red dice with options.

When you or a loved one is injured in an accident you want and deserve only the finest in medical and legal attention. You wouldn’t leave your care to the worst doctor in your city if you had any say in it, so why do the same when finding an attorney to represent you. The choice of a lawyer can have many cascading effects and be one of the most important decisions in a lifetime after a severe accident.

Is There a Silver Bullet in Discovering a Great Personal Injury Attorney?

When you are looking for the best attorney, there are often telltale signs regarding their efficacy. Often a reputation is built around their own ability to look out for their clients. This can represent itself in many ways, including reviews online regarding former clients’ experiences with such a firm. There is no silver bullet in finding the exact right attorney for your exact situation, but there are often some common factors that can stand out.

  • The Guy on the Bus and Park Bench – Should that Sell Me?

Don’t just go by the faces on the side of a bus or on the back of the phone book. There are many factors to consider when choosing an attorney. Make sure to choose one that is specialized in the field that you are dealing with. A personal injury attorney with a specialization in auto accidents or workplace injuries can be a great place to start.

When reviewing a potential attorney’s website, social media presence, and reviews, you should weigh some factors heavily. These can include:

  • Accessibility and Communication: How well does this firm rank for giving their clients the time needed to handle their case properly. Are they quick and forthcoming, always ready with the information needed just when needed or are they always behind the eight ball and late in their reactions?
  • Keeping Promises: This can be one of the most common praises or complaints for clients. Does the attorney or firm keep their promises? Does the firm have a reputation for promising the world and delivering almost nothing? Have the clients of this firm been satisfied with the expectations managed by their attorney?
  • Their Results in Court: Does their ad match their ability? When looking at their past cases, have they come through for their clients? Is there a list of high-profile victories on their site? In reviews, are there indications of large settlements, especially those that can adequately cover the cost of severe injury or death?

All of these and more should go into your decision of which attorney would be best for you and your family’s future. Ehline Law’s experience is specialized and there’s a reason we rank among the top Southern California attorneys out there. Contact us for more information.

A Specialized Attorney is Needed for Motorcycle Accidents

Hurt or wounded in a motorcycle traffic collision?

Motorcycle Attorney Michael Ehline

A motorcycle accident can lead to life-threatening injuries and trauma. The effects of such an accident can stay with the rider for life, especially if it also caused the injury of a family member or loved one. When trying to pick up the pieces after such a crash, there are many moving parts involved. It is important to choose the doctor and attorney that can best help you put these together again.

A “Motorcycle Accident Specialist” – What is That?

When a patient has a broken bone or head trauma, they often go to the specialist, and with good reason. Going to a physician out of their training and experience can lead to very negative results, especially when dealing with a specific trauma. The concept is very similar when dealing with motorcycle accidents. Making sure that the attorney that you hire is one specialized in motorcycle crashes can be as important as your choice in doctor.


Not All Motorcycle Lawyers are the Same

Not all attorneys are the same. Choosing an attorney with no experience with cycle claims can make a very negative difference. An attorney better suited for real estate or divorce law should not be handling your case. The attorney that closed your mortgage should not be representing such a case in court on your behalf. Instead, attorneys that have successfully handled such cases before, armed with the right knowledge of case precedent and recent statistics can be your best bet.

Below you can find some reasons why specialization is so important.

  • Remembering the Anti-Motorcyclist Bias: While this is not the case in every courtroom across the state of California, many times there is an unconscious or unspoken bias against motorcycle riders. An attorney used to such a stereotype can work effectively to counteract it (Learn more about biased police here.)
  • Specialization with Motorcycle Injuries: Such an attorney is also well apprised of dealing with many common motorcycle crash injuries. These can include road rash, broken and fractured bones, paralysis and lacerations. They can help refer you to the correct doctors and in some cases, front the money need for treatment.

There are many factors to consider when hiring an attorney after a chopper crash. A firm like Ehline Law’s experience can be invaluable in getting your life back together, you back on your feet, and on the open road once again.

The True Cost of Severe Brain Injury

Dementia disease and a loss of brain function and memories

Human brain research and memory loss as symbol of alzheimer’s concept with missing pieces of the puzzle

For many, their biggest fear is a severe head or spinal injury. Either can permanently affect their mobility, personality, and quality of life. For many victims, the changes are permanent and irreversible. Even treatable conditions can take months or years and lead to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills. This is in combination with lost work, severe changes to your family, and tremendous pain and suffering.

There are no winners in such injuries. The severity of brain injuries can take many forms and come with a tremendous number of complications. A Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, caused by an accident is a devastating diagnosis.

When injured in such a manner, it is important to work with your family, doctor, and attorney to determine the exact amount of damage that has been done to you. Common issues, such as the cost of immediate treatment and lost work could be just the tip of the iceberg. In addition, there could be other issues not even considered early in the process.

Brain Injuries are a Complex Problem When Determining the True Costs

Being able to adequately determine the true cost of the injury is complex– a bit of combining actuarial math with medical science. The sheer cost of therapy can reach into the millions. You attorney and doctor can work together to estimate your lifetime cost of such rehabilitation and get it paid in full. You can also fit in the cost of your medications and psychological stress. Many people also lose significant quality of life, including their ability to spend time with their family, consort with their significant other, and general damages.

  • The Many Factors That Need to Be Calculated in Resolving a TBI Claim

There is no pain or problem too small to examine. Each one can cascade with other factors to completely reshape an injury victim’s life and cause them to be unable to successfully lead the life that they did previously or wanted to. They may be confined to a wheelchair or cognitively impaired. No matter what the injury, making sure that you are at the best condition to meet it is necessary.

Ehline Law has handled many similar cases in the past and have seen the sheer effects of such injuries on many of our clients. This is why we have stuck with them through thick and thin to rebuild their lives as much as possible. For more information, including a free, no-pressure consultation, please call or email us today at any time of day or night.

How to Have the Best Chance to Win Your Insurance Claim

Ehline Law Griffin Logo

The Griffin logo of Ehline Law Firm PC Los Angeles.

You pay your insurance company bills religiously in case something bad happens. Whether it be your auto, home, health, or life insurance, many consumers simply don’t think about the fact that these corporations may not honor their own policies. Other times insurance companies will simply play games, run your expiration time to arbitrate or sue down, or engage in some other unsavory tactic to screw you under. When this happens, wounded and often incoherent accident victims in particular are often blindsided and not sure about how to proceed. This is where you need guidance from only the best in legal attention.

There are Many Appreciable Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Chances of Getting Paid in Claim

There are several steps that an accident victim can take in order to lessen the chance of being rooked by their own insurance carrier. Hopefully it does not come to conflict, but for many it does. Below are some tips that the victim can take in order to prevent a second tragedy.

  • When in Doubt, Contact an Attorney: This might not always be your first step, but the rule of thumb is to make sure that you have a proficient advocate behind you in order to take on any insurance company shenanigans and protect you every step of the way. Ehline Law’s experience in dealing with nearly every insurance carrier in the state of California can help you when needed.
  • Get it in Writing: It is important that every step of the insurance process is documented. You should get written confirmation for every issue spoken to an adjustor regarding, as well as any potential payouts or changes to your policies. It is not uncommon to have verbal agreements denied by the company– and this denial holding up in court because of a lack of documentation. If your claim is denied, make sure that you get a written reason why from the company.

Keep all of this paperwork properly organized and ready to use in and out of the courtroom. Not only will you help your attorney in the eventuality that you need a lawyer, but it will also help you hire your lawyer and save you much time and stress. This can also help you prepare a coherent case against the company itself in bad faith (Read about insurance bad faith here.) Keep an eye on all details, including your own signature and dates. Organize by subject, date, or both.

When you leave the insurance company forewarned that you have all your ducks in a row, you stand a much better chance of winning any potential case against a recalcitrant insurance company. In addition, your prudence may be able to actually save you a trip to court, as discussed earlier. Many insurance adjustors will back down when they realize they have a prepared and knowledgeable client, especially one represented by an attorney.

For more information, call or email Ehline Law today. Our years of experience handling similar cases can help you in your trying time.

Home-Owners Insurance and Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims that began while a victim is lawfully upon the premises of another, are brought when that individual has been harmed due to another person’s carelessness or recklessness of the property owner, which under personal injury law is considered negligence. When an individual is harmed in the mishap they can be financially devastated by the cost of medical care and lost wages with the amount of time needed for recovery. Filing a personal injury claim to obtain a settlement or jury verdict can help in recovering damages for the expenses of the victim and their family have suffered.

In Most Cases Insurance Pays the Damages Claims

Generally, when personal injury lawsuit or claim it is settled the financial recovery will be paid by the insurance company. In the event that the injuries are extremely severe, there may not be enough money to cover the victim. In other words, the policy holder may not have enough insurance. There are often some instances that the insurance claim against the policy holder’s homeowners insurance covers various types of claims that compensation can be obtained upon. For example, many homeowner’s policies will cover animal or dog bite attacks, slip and falls and other harm resulting in injuries on the premises.


Sometimes Home-Owners Insurance Covers Damages Off Of The Premises

In some states the homeowner policy may even cover driving under the influence accidents connected to the home, such as where the owner negligently permitted someone to drive their vehicle after consuming enough alcohol to become intoxicated. In California, a pedestrian run over in a hit and run case, may even be able to make a claim against his or her own homeowners policy.

  • Special Rules

Homeowner’s policies often include coverage due to special rules that cover children referred to as an attractive nuisance. This legal doctrine means that the home-owners insurance may cover children’s injuries on a property. Even if they trespass, when there are certain parts of the property they may want to play. Unsafe conditions on the property that could pose a hazard to children should be removed.

  • Specific Hazards

There are some types of mishaps that the homeowner’s insurance may not cover and the property owner has a duty to disclose specific kinds of hazards. In some cases accidents such as stairs that would normally be safe, the design and construction is up to standards, if an individual falls down the stairs the insurance company may not payout. Homeowner insurance coverage can be limited to certain amounts for incidences. One of the limits may include house fires where there may be a limited amount for the incident and depending on injuries of individuals this amount must be split between each party.


Consulting a Lawyer Always Helps

When harm is sustained due to the property owner’s negligence, this is considered a personal injury. Consulting a lawyer specializing in this area of personal injury law for the damages suffered they can evaluate the claim and determine what the case may be covered under homeowner’s insurance. In injury cases it may be necessary to bring a lawsuit to have a jury award a settlement, rather than negotiating with the insurance company when they do not offer a fair settlement. Most homeowner insurance claims will be able to be settled through negotiations, rather than going to court.


Ehline Law Firm PC

633 West 5th Street #2890,
Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 596-9642


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By appointment only.

Why Have Road Fatalities Jumped this Year?

Evening vigil for dead accident victim

Roadside memorial for dead car crash victim

With overall road safety improving over the last generation, it may seem counter-intuitive to have a significant jump in road fatalities this year of 2015. However, if the rate of fatal car accidents continues through the end of December, that is what we are looking at this year. According to federal statistics, the rate of fatal accidents has taken a jump. When looking at these stats and significant cases, we can begin to understand why and how that could occur.

As stated previously the overall trend has been going down. There has been an increase in car safety attempts, including new safety features in cars, the Cash for Clunkers program taking older cars off the road, and differences in design. Altogether, this has been combined with a general decline in annual miles driven annually.

Reasons Why 2015 Appears to Be Turning into the Year of the Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident

However, this year appears to be a bit different. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a three percent decline in accident fatalities between 2012 and 2013. This year’s pro rated data are pointing to an increase– and there may be several factors why.

  • Increase of driven miles: Due to the upswing in the economy, more miles are undertaken each year. This includes businesses now traveling the road to get goods and services to consumers. In addition, families are now taking more time on the road, leading to higher numbers of accidents.
  • Increase in distracted driving: The number of electronic devices in cars has increased exponentially over the last decade. This can include cell phones, GPS units, tablets, and others. This, combined with lack of education regarding the use of such devices, especially among young people, can cause many issues on the road.

The NHTSA also reported that:

“the percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014; this was a statistically significant increase.”

This causes thousands of accidents each year, including many fatalities. These factors, coupled with potential changes in driving patterns can help cause the increase in fatalities. Ehline Law has been studying the developing situation and has advice for drivers on how to avoid accidents and fatalities. Keep reading our accident articles for more information.

Causes of Poor Los Angeles Road Conditions

Mapping the bad roads

Topical map of L.A. roads.

Single vehicle accidents are always treated suspiciously by law enforcement. It makes sense, as cops are so used to taking Traffic Collision Reports from victims with two sides of a story. Many police assume that the victim driver was drunk or on drugs and treat the case as a criminal investigation against the driver.

Taking a Look at the Headache of L.A. Roads

The reality is there are cities in Los Angeles and its connected locales with bad roads that can actually kill or maim vehicle occupants and bystanders. The condition of the roads in and around Los Angeles are a topic of constant conversation in the news, especially when it rains or there is a flood. Taking a look at any of the roads of the city can cause headache, especially if you have to drive them daily. There’s a reason that many people traveling through Southern California attempt to avoid the city altogether, especially with concerns about constant heavy traffic.

  • LA Times Interactive Map

The Los Angeles Times has a very interesting interactive map to look at the road conditions across the city. The map also allows users to look at the conditions by road, by district, and by neighborhood. You can see how some of the worst roads are in some of the seemingly obvious places, including Hollywood Hills and Silver Lake. The high number of poor roads is unmistakable for commuters and pedestrians.

  • Our Roads are Among the Poorest in the Country

Two years ago, LA area roads were rated the worst in the country, with the neighboring Valley town of Glendale beating Rhode Island with having the most terrible drivers (check it out here.) A Los Angeles Times article shows just a portion of the street and highway conditions that are of concern. The combination of bad drivers nearby and torn up roads can definitely be costly to taxpayers and commuters. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Washington DC based research group TRIP, the conditions, including potholes and other issues cost each driver over $800 per year.

Almost 9,000 Miles of LA Roads Get a C-Minus Grade?

After a recent federal highway rating system was put in place, LA’s 8,700 miles of roads graded a poor C-minus, while a quarter of which received an F (view source.) Furthermore, officials loudly proclaim that there is a sixty year backlog of urgent repairs needed, and almost two thirds of the roads in the city are in poor condition but commerce is a major factor in slowing the repairs (view source.)

  • Lawyers Can Help Compensate Victims Hurt on Bad Roads

The shape of the roads that you and your family rely on each and every day are of the highest concern. If you have been the victim of an accident due to negligence from Caltrans or the LA DOT, you need to contact an attorney immediately. They are under an obligation to keep the public safe and the roads well maintained. Let’s make sure that they do.

Most Common Causes of California Fatal Car Accidents

Map of Golden State

Sliver shot of California Map

California’s roadways are a dream for many, with miles of open road ahead of them in the sun. However, driving anywhere has its potential dangers. The vast amount of pavement and drivers in the state lead to a statistical fact of car accidents each year. Unfortunately, this also means thousands of deaths on the road each year.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, or OTS’s statistics, in 2013, the total number of fatalities on the state’s roads increased 1.2 percent, totaling up from 2,966 in 2012 to 3,000 in 2013. This is no insignificant number, especially for the families involved in these accident. Even despite driver education, experience, and efforts by car companies to make their vehicles safer, such accidents will remain a certainty for years.

The Many Deadly Factors to Consider Facing California Drivers

To determine many of the causes of fatal accidents in California, many factors must be considered. This is not just a singular issue that is facing the state’s drivers. Common factors include:

  • Auto Company Negligence: There have been some high profile cases of companies shirking their duty and allowing vehicles on the road that have no place being there. These autos are sometimes recalled only after significant public outcry or fatal accidents, or both. This is unacceptable for those that put their lives on the line when driving.
  • Car Culture in California: Car culture in the state has allowed for drivers to get a lot of experience behind the wheel that could prevent other accidents. However, issues that are commonly referred to include the risk of improper turning and not checking for bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vehicles.
  • Weather Issues: While most of California do not see snow issues, the weather can be a common problem. Snow in the northern regions, heavy rain on dry ground, and crosswinds all have roles in fatal accidents.
  • Driving Impaired: This can include drinking and driving, which causes hundreds of deaths in California each year. In addition, there are also issues with people taking prescription meds causing issues when driving.

All of these and other factors combine to cause an environment that should warrant attention. Experience and purchasing safer cars may keep your family safe. If you are ever in need of advice regarding a crash, please reach out to our offices at any time.

Bicycles and Sidewalks?

Old Cracked Sidewalk

Old Cracked Sidewalk

Anyone who has been riding a bicycle for a length of time has heard they should not ride on the sidewalk for a number of reasons, including that it is easier to crash. In some cities it is often illegal for a bicyclist to ride on sidewalks in the state of California. This includes Sacramento County, Fulsom and Galt where bikes cannot be ridden on sidewalks at all. But there are other cities that do allow it (See “Sidewalk Riding Laws Here.”) At the same time on streets within neighborhoods is not uncommon to see cyclists on the sidewalk, but they are generally either children or inexperienced bicyclists. Adult cyclists are generally unaware of the risks riding on the sidewalk can pose.

Bike safety advocates have a number of reasons why this could be dangerous and result in being harmed including:

  • Automobile Dangers: vehicles cross the sidewalk everyday in neighborhoods pulling into their driveway or leaving it and in some cases the driveway may be obstructed from the bikers view by bushes or other obstacles. The driver doesn’t generally stop at to check before reaching the edge of the road, because they are looking for traffic so they can pull out onto the road, not for bicycles. This could easily mean a collision in which the bicyclist would be hurt.
  • Pedestrians: Sidewalks are made for pedestrians to be safe while walking. They often listen to music with earbuds, eat, drink and even play around while walking. They are not always looking for a bicyclist so they can move out of the way and if a bicyclist hits a pedestrian it can cause serious injuries for the person walking and the person riding a bike.
  • Intersections: Intersections are a dangerous place for the bicyclists with vehicles going in different directions and if the rider is on the sidewalk it is possible parked cars are obstructing their view and the driver’s view of the bike. This reason and other kind of obstructions like bushes or trees that obstruct the motorists view can give them little or no time to react before a collision happens seriously injuring the bicyclist.

When the Sidewalk is Safer

While in some cities or counties riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is not permitted and bicycle safety advocates warn against it, but there are some situations where riding on the sidewalk is a safer option. Not all roadways have bicycle lanes or areas where the rider can be safe with speeding traffic, areas with numerous potholes and grates or other dangerous elements. In these cases the cyclists feels safer riding on the sidewalk and it could be the safer choice.

When it is safer to ride on the sidewalk, not that bicyclists should violate the law, but in avoiding the higher risk of riding on the road then the rider needs to follow some basic rules. These rules can help keep them safe and pedestrians who are permitted to use the sidewalk.

  • Ride slowly this is a key rule that shouldn’t be broken. Riding on the sidewalk is not the same as the road for speed.
  • Yield to pedestrians, because on the sidewalk they have the right-of-way, just like on the road there are rules to protect people from harm on sidewalks.
  • If necessary walk the bike making it safer for you and for other pedestrians.
  • Use extreme caution when approaching driveways, or areas where there are bushes that could hide a driveway from view.
  • Use caution if riding on the outside of the sidewalk where there may be parked cars because a car door opening can cause serious harm.
  • Be cautious at intersections.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks only just as pedestrians should.

Ehline Law Firm PC the Southern California bicycle injury attorney (Read More.) hopes bicyclists will find this useful information about sidewalks and the possibility it may not be legal to ride on them in your area, but sometimes it is safer than the road though we do not advocate violating the law.